- Kenneth Cotterill
Too Early NBA Lottery Mock Draft
Last night saw the NBA Draft Lottery conclude leaving some fan bases excited and some absolutely gutted. Charlotte and Chicago's fans rejoiced while Piston and Knick's fans slumped into a slight depression as the order was read. You can never anticipate which teams will trade up or down, but you can determine what your team needs going into the 2020-2021 season. This article looks at who your team should pick if they do not make a trade so let's dive in and take a look at who the lottery teams should select.
1.Minnesota Timberwolves - SG Anthony Edwards (Georgia)
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 225 | Age: 19 | Freshman
The Timberwolves, unlike most of the other lottery teams, have a franchise superstar in Karl Anthony-Towns. Towns, along with midseason acquisition D'Angelo Russell give Minnesota hope for the future. They need to add a backcourt mate for Russell, as Malki Beasley and Jarrett Culver at this time do not appear to be the guy. By adding a third scoring option in Edwards this team can start vying for a playoff spot in the tough West. Draft Edwards and solidify your backcourt of the future.
2. Golden State Warriors - C James Wiseman (Memphis)
Height: 7’1” | Weight: 240 | Age: 19 | Freshman
Many anticipate that the Warriors will trade out of this pick, but if they do hold onto it this pick seems like a no brainer. They have immense talent at every position except the Center spot, so take James Wiseman. He left Memphis early to prepare for the NBA draft and it should pay off with him landing at the second spot. The Warriors should head back to the playoffs once again after an injury-riddled 2019-20 season and Wiseman will help guarantee that happens.
3.Charlotte Hornets - PF Obi Toppin (Dayton)
Height: 6’9” | Weight: 220 | Age: 22 | RS Sophomore
The Hornets had a tough year with a few bright spots in Devontae Graham and PJ Washington. With Miles Bridges at the power forward position, they could use a backup for him, with the potential of Bridges moving to the bench. Obi Toppin showed an incredible amount of talent in college and would be a great fit in Charlotte. Toppin will not change your franchise right away, but he will make you better for sure. Use this draft to start what will likely be a three-year minimum rebuild in Charlotte.
4.Chicago Bulls - SF Isaac Okoro (Auburn)
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 225 | Age: 19 | Freshman
Chicago moving into the top four was huge for them, as they had the seventh-worst record last year. Zach Lavine took the next step and Coby White showed great promise as a rookie. While Otto Porter is there already he has an injury history so make sure the small forward position is locked down. Okoro is an athletic and strong defender and Chicago were very poor defensively last year. He will help improve on the defensive end and could help Chicago push for the eighth seed.
5.Cleveland Cavaliers - PG Lamelo Ball (Illawarra Hawks)
Height: 6’7” | Weight: 180 | Age: 18
The Cavs have drafted two guards the past couple of years, but they should go guard again if Lamelo Ball is there. He is incredibly tall of a guard, has a great passing ability, and could be moved to multiple positions if need be. Lamelo has the highest ceiling likely in this class so the Cavs would be incredibly dumb not to take him here. Their biggest need is small forward, but it is likely Okoro will be gone and Vassell should not go that high.
6.Atlanta Hawks - PF/C Onyeka Okongwu (USC)
Height: 6’9” | Weight: 235 | Age: 19 | Freshman
Trae Young is the franchise talent that Atlanta needs, but he needs some help. John Collins and Clint Capela are solid in the frontcourt, but they need a backup that could help round out their bigs. Okongwu was a 16-8 guy in college and is very versatile on defense. The Hawks gave up the most points per game last year so the defense should be a priority in this draft. Okongwu checks that box so hope the Hawks can land him.
7.Detroit Pistons - PG Tyrese Haliburton, G (Iowa State)
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 175 | Age: 20 | Sophomore
Derrick Rose currently holds down the point guard position, but he could be huge in mentoring a point guard of the future. He is pretty tall for a point guard and Haliburton is seen as one of the safest bets in the draft. He passes well but does not have the prettiest of jump shots. He is a solid point and very smart, so Rose could definitely help him grow in a big way. Detroit is a long way from being a playoff team, but getting a young point guard that is solid could be huge moving forward.
8.New York Knicks - PG Killian Hayes (Ratiopharm Ulm)
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 185 | Age: 19
The Knicks were the biggest losers on draft lottery night falling to eight. They have some promising young players like Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, and Julius Randle. If they want to make a serious run in 2021 free agency, they need to find a point guard. While the top two point guards won't be there, Killian Hayes is the next best and would be a great selection. Hayes has massive upside as a lead playmaker for the Knicks offense, which is what the Knicks need since they already have lead scorers. Prayers for Knicks fans that they get a good guard.
9.Washington Wizards - SF Devin Vassell (Florida State)
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 180 | Age: 19 | Sophomore
The Wizards were without John Wall all year, but Bradley Beal balled out. If they want to keep both of those guys long term then they better draft well at the ninth pick. Small Forward is the glaring need for this team and Devin Vassell the best one available likely at nine. He does not bring much to the table offensively, but he is solid in all other aspects of the game. He is a safe pick and Washington should jump at the opportunity to draft Vassell.
10.Phoenix Suns - SF/PF Deni Avdija (Maccabi Tel Aviv)
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 210 | Age: 19
The Suns were the talk of the NBA bubble, going undefeated in eight games, but just missed the playoffs. Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton were fantastic, so the Suns just need to add some depth at other positions. They should take a chance on the virtual unknown Deni Avdija. He can be an on-ball playmaker despite lacking an outside shot. Play him behind Kelly Oubre and Cameron Johnson and he could come in and give you something different at the wing position.
11.San Antonio Spurs - SF Saddiq Bey (Villanova)
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 215 | Age: 21 | Sophomore
The Spurs twenty-two-year playoff streak is over and this team needs to get younger. LaMarcus Aldridge and Demar Derozan are not getting any younger so they need a solid perimeter player. The Villanova talent Saddiq Bey is that guy, as he was incredibly well-coached in college. Lonnie Walker and Marco Bellineli are currently the small forwards there so they could use some help. Bey's shot is improving and he will bring some defense to a team that gave up the sixth-most points per game last year. Bey to San Antonio seems like a no brainer.
12.Sacramento Kings - SG Tyrese Maxey Kentucky
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 200 | Age: 19 | Freshman
The Kings just had Vlade Divac step down so they need a good draft to remain competitive in the West. Marvin Bagley was hurt all year, but the Kings got solid production from their frontcourt in Fox and Hield. They could use a bench spark behind Hield and Maxey should do that for them. Tyrese is a solid defender as well, which Sacramento could use. No brainer here, take a guy like Maxey to help solidify your guard play.
13.New Orleans Pelicans - SF Aaron Nesmith Vanderbilt
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 215 | Age: 20 | Sophomore
The Pelicans were the biggest disappointment in the NBA Bubble, as they snapped JJ Redick's NBA playoff streak. Zion Williamson missing the majority of the year did not help New Orleans, but they need to add some depth in this draft. Aaron Nesmith seems to be that guy, as he is a great perimeter threat. While Nesmith may not see a ton of minutes right away, if injuries come into play then he could.
14.Boston Celtics (From Memphis) - PF/C Precious Achiuwa Memphis
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 210 | Age: 20 | Freshman
Boston being in the lottery is huge for a team that is likely to make a deep playoff run this year. As far as guards and wings go, the Celtics are pretty set in that department. What they could use is some front court help in case Kanter or Thies go down. Precious Achiuwa seems like the pick there for them as he is young, has defensive potential and can shoot fairly well. Boston just needs to add a big with some upside and Precious will be the best available for that.
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